CBS Reveals More of the Same for Its Fall Schedule

CBS didn't do anything too bold with its fall schedule, which the network revealed this morning ahead of its upfront presentation this afternoon. 

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CBS didn't do anything too bold with its fall schedule, which the network revealed this morning ahead of its upfront presentation this afternoon.

The network decided to break up its Monday night comedy block this season by adding new drama Scorpion at 9 p.m. This decision follows in the footsteps of tradition-breaking NBC, which did away with its run of Thursday comedies, and Fox, which broke up it's Sunday all-animation lineup. CBS's crown jewel, The Big Bang Theory, will air on Mondays—likely giving a big boost to Mom—until it returns to its Thursday slot when football is finished.  On Sundays, CBS paired Madame Secretary, a drama with a hint of Hillary Clinton, with The Good Wife, another drama that has borrowed from Clinton's life story.

And of course, since this is CBS, the schedule is packed with acronyms. NCIS: New Orleans will air after NCIS and a member of the CSI franchise will follow The Good Wife.

What's not on the list? How I Met Your Dad. President of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler told press this morning that there were "elements of the pilot that didn't work out." Though the network apparently wanted to redo the pilot, but there were creative disagreements. On the bright side this coming season will be Two and A Half Men's last.

Fall Schedule

  8:00  8:30  9:00  9:30  10:00  10:30 
Monday The Big Bang Theory/2 Broke Girls Mom Scorpion NCIS: Los Angeles
Tuesday NCIS NCIS: New Orleans Person of Interest
Wednesday Survivor Criminal Minds Stalker
Thursday The Big Bang Theory The Millers Two and a Half Men The McCarthys Elementary
Friday The Amazing Race Hawaii 5-0 Blue Bloods
Saturday Crimetime Saturday
Sunday Madame Secretary The Good Wife CSI/CSI: Cyber

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5:30 And we're done. Basically, CBS maintains its "we're awesome" stance.

5:27 Tassler announces the shows that will “go in” for CBS midseason, which is a term that the network renounced earlier today. Those shows include, Mike and Molly and Matthew Perry’s The Odd Couple.

5:25 Tassler declares: “we love our Sunday night,” which features Madam Secretary, which “perfectly bridges” 60 Minutes and Good Wife.

5:24 Tassler notes the end of Two and a Half Men. “Creator Chuck Lorre is already planning a season-long event with big surprises in store,” she says.

5:21 “Thursday night football even pays dividends for us here,” Tassler says going over the schedule for Monday. She also says that 2 Broke Girls pairs well with the “two broke women of Mom.”

5:14 Even Nina Tassler compares Scorpion to The Big Bang TheoryAnd, yes, Katherine McPhee is basically the Kaley Cuoco character: the outsider among geniuses, who happens to have a genius son.

5:10 It’s a jarring transition from CBS’s NCIS cheerleading to love for Breaking Bad in order to promote Vince Gilligan’s Battle Creek. Dean Winters stars, but all we can see is Dennis Duffy. The show looks to have some of the absurdist bent of Breaking Bad.

5:06 Next up: NCIS: New Orleans, “the latest installment of the world’s most successful television franchise,” Tassler doesn’t hesitate to remind everyone. Scott Bakula stars. The trailer features "Timber," meaning Pitbull continues to own Upfronts Week.

5:01 Tassler opens her pitch for Madam Secretary by saying, “since The Good Wife, we’ve been looking for another smart, sophisticated drama…” In the trailer, Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) is a college professor and former CIA agent, who is offered the role of Secretary of State when the incumbent Secretary is killed.

4:54 Onto the first new drama: Stalker, from Kevin Williamson. “This is easily the scariest show we’ve ever done,” Tassler says. The trailer opens with a masked man lighting a woman in a car on fire. In the trailer Maggie Q says, “punk ass little twit,” officially making her more of a badass in this than in Divergent.

4:52 Tassler mentions that Joey McIntyre is on The McCarthys and Donnie Wahlberg is on Blue Bloods, meaning CBS now has two members of New Kids on the Block on their roster.

4:45 "It's not easy to get accepted into the CBS comedy family," Tassler says. Perhaps a nod toward the lack of a pickup for How I Met Your Dad? She moves into The McCarthys a "Boston show even you Yankees will love," she says. There are two Good Wife jokes in the trailer. Cross-promotional!

4:44 "For us the TV season is more than just September to May," Tassler says. "We have completely redefined summer." 

4:40 Tassler highlights the network's "most aggressive summer schedule ever," with kudos for Under the Dome.  "Let me assure you there's no place like dome," she says. Groan. Next up: Extant, the Steven Spielberg-Halle Berry show, about an astronaut who mysteriously becomes pregnant on a solo mission. After a long trailer, Tassler brings out Berry.

4:33 Letterman leaves, and Moonves is touting more stability and more leadership. He brings out Tassler.

4:32 Moonves introduces a Letterman salute. Featuring some of his most famous moments. Hi, Drew Barrymore. Letterman himself emerges. "I make the worst decisions, I'm telling you, I've been thinking about this all week," he says. "Not once did it occur to me to put lipstick on my nipples. Honest to God." (Cumming had rouge on his nipples.) Saying that he's been coming to upfronts for 30 years, he says, "I have no idea who you people are. I have no idea why you're here." Letterman also goes for a Solange elevator joke. 

Letterman segues into the story of a two-day telephone fight he had with Moonves. His point, however, is that they have since made up, and that Moonves has been patient and supportive with him.

He decides to end with a joke he got from Norm Macdonald. It begins, "moth goes into a podiatrist's office..." For the full joke: go here.

4:19 The video for Thursday Night Football begins with the cast of The Big Bang Theory in football uniforms.

4:16 Moonves once again touts CBS as the "most-watched network on television." Overnight ratings, "though still fun to read at CBS." aren't as important as they once were, Moonves says.

4:13 He welcomes the audience to the "Kit Kat Club Carnegie," and introduces his Good Wife co-stars. They bring out Les Moonves, the president and CEO of the CBS Corporation. "Money, Money" from Cabaret plays. 

4:11 And now a Good Wife parody. "We have a symphony hall full of clients," Diane Lockhart says. "They introduce Alan Cumming singing "Wilkommen" as his Good Wife character, Eli Gold. He takes off his suit to reveal his Cabaret costume. "Here TV is beautiful, the shows are beautiful, even our CEO is beautiful," he sings as Cabaret's emcee. "Here at CBS we know how to have a good time, not to mention a good wife," he cracks, and proceeds to call out notable members of the audience including Julie Chen, Margo Martindale, and LL Cool J.

5:00 A violinist has come out as the faces of CBS stars flash across the screen, and now Tom Selleck, Pauley Perrette, and more CBS folks are narrating a sizzle reel.

4:00 And we're off with a video placing the head of Jo Ann Ross, president of network sales, on the body of Pink at the Grammys. A shirtless man walks Ross out on stage. Ross says she wasn't dangling by "cable." Instead, she "was held solidly fiber." Get it? Get it?!

3:59 One minute away and the screen at Carnegie hall is playing a CBS-themed Candy Crush.

3:47 We're here watching the livestream of CBS's presentation at Carnegie Hall. While people file in the network is shown "on location" shots of their shows.




NCIS: New Orleans

Madam Secretary

The McCarthys


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.